Emerald Ash Borer: The Biology and Ecological Consequences of an Exotic Pest

Kathleen Knight
     and
Joanne Rebbeck
USDA Forest Service, Delaware

7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The emerald ash borer, a beetle from China that was recently accidentally introduced into North America, has already killed millions of ash trees and is a threat to all North American ash tree species. Emerald ash borer is quickly spread by humans, and is now present in 10 US states and 2 Canadian provinces. Ash tree species are important in forest ecosystems as well as landscaping. As emerald ash borer kills these trees, forest ecosystems will be disturbed, the timber industry will lose revenue, and homeowners and municipalities will incur costs of removing and replacing trees.

Our research focuses on the ecology of emerald ash borer and its effects on forest ecosystems. We are working with a diverse group of scientists to monitor the decline and mortality of ash trees, and the responses of forest ecosystems, in a network of monitoring plots in Ohio and Michigan. At one of these monitoring sites, the Dempsey Wetlands, we are working with middle school students to further examine populations of emerald ash borer and its natural enemies. The results of our research will help managers plan for and mitigate the effects of emerald ash borer on their forests.

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